Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.


DC Health

DC Agency Top Menu

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Mayor Gray Announces Initiative to Improve Health and Wellness of District Residents

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Mayor Gray and DOH announce a coordinated interagency effort to challenge District residents to make smart and healthy lifestyle choices.

Creating a Culture of Health by Challenging Residents to Change Unhealthy Behaviors

Today, Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the DC Department of Health (DOH) announced a coordinated interagency effort to challenge District residents to make smart and healthy lifestyle choices that will have positive impacts on their health.  Building on the great work both initiated by the Council and ongoing in the community, Creating a Culture of Health in the District of Columbia aims to create a city-wide push for health and wellness focusing on five core areas:

  • Safe and Healthy Homes:  The earliest decisions regarding food, activity, television viewing and other behaviors occur in the home. Parents and caregivers play a critical role in making good choices for themselves and their families.
  • Safe and Healthy Childcare:  Childcare and early childhood education programs affect the lives of many of the District’s children, making it increasingly important for these providers to model healthy lifestyle behaviors and teach children to make healthy choices
  • Safe and Healthy Schools: Schools play a pivotal role in promoting healthy lifestyle choices for our children.  Each school day provides multiple opportunities for students to learn about health and practice healthy behaviors.
  • Safe and Healthy Workplace:  Most of the District’s workforce spends significant amounts of time at their worksites, making workplace wellness programs an effective tool for promoting health and preventing disease and injury.
  • Safe and Healthy Communities:  District residents all deserve communities and environments that allow for and support the practice of healthy behaviors. 

“Having safe and healthy communities to live in is a basic and fundamental right to which all residents are entitled,” said Mayor Gray. “I look forward to investing in this initiative, which will allow us to work together as One City to help encourage healthy behaviors and improve health, education, wellness and outreach in critical areas that affect every District resident.”

Work on this effort began in 2010 with the establishment of DOH’s Live Well DC! (LWDC!) campaign. With the start of Creating a Culture of Health, it has been expanded to include each of the five core areas.  This initiative is designed to provide all residents with the opportunity to have access to pertinent health information and the opportunity to live healthy lives by adopting positive health behaviors that prevent disease. Creating a Culture of Health will work in coordination with the upcoming LWDC! public awareness campaign that encourages all who work, live, play and pray in the District to live longer, more productive lives by following 10 Healthy Living Tips:

  • Eat Healthy
  • Move More
  • Don’t Smoke
  • Love Responsibly
  • Reduce Stress
  • See Your Doctor
  • Wash Your Hands
  • Be Prepared
  • Make Peace
  • Read More

“It is important that we involve other District agencies to create public policy and initiatives that address the structural disparities and inequities in our system -- disparities that affect the distribution of our green spaces, opportunities for physical activity and access to nutritious food” said DOH Director Dr. Mohammad Akhter.

Upcoming Creating a Culture of Health Activities

  • Community Coach Recruitment – Mayor Gray will lead by example and serve as the first citywide community coach for the Live Well DC! public education campaign. On Saturday April 9, DOH will host an open casting call for all District residents who are interested in joining the Mayor in staying physically active and becoming a community coach for their ward.  A winner from each ward will be featured in the LWDC! ad campaign and participate in social media, including Twitter and YouTube, to motivate the rest of their community.  
  • Physician and Nurse Visits to Schools – DOH and D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) have collaborated to bring DOH physicians and nurses into schools to meet with every DCPS Parent-Teacher Association to emphasize the connection between health y lifestyles, behavior and learning while promoting family and community involvement.
  • Health Messaging for Summer Youth Employment Program Participants – DOH and the Department of Employment Services will provide health messaging and information for all of the SYEP participants and are working to create a peer educator track for the summer offerings.
  • Institutionalizing Wellness Through Government Business – DOH will work with the Office of Contracts and Procurement to explore adding wellness requirements to contracts and sub-contracts with the District Government.
  • Community Preparedness Drill – DOH will participate with other agencies in a full-scale exercise of a health emergency this spring to educate the entire community about the importance of health and emergency preparedness.